Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Opal "Happy Nightmare Baby"

Today I wrestled with Maya to get her dressed for our daily trip to the playground. By time we got about a half a block away, it began to rain hard enough for me to cancel the trip, despite the weather guy on the TV promising a nice fall day. Once we got back I found myself in the mood to listen to Opal.

I first heard Opal during my college days many years ago (my first attempt at college I might add). At the time I often shopped at the record shops near campus before, after and/or during classes. "Happy Nightmare Baby" came out on SST records at a time where I often bought stuff on SST without having to hear it first. It was a gamble that paid of off.  Years Decades later I still listen to it. I have long retired my scratchy LP for mp3s I downloaded a the height of the napster boom.

Opal is not as well known or loved as much Kendra Smith's previous band, Dream Syndicate, or it's much more commercially successful successor, Mazzy Star, which the band became after Smith's mid-performance departure. But I much prefer Opal to the latter and at times I like them more than I did Dream Syndicate. Listening to it today, I find myself comparing it to T. Rex's slower shuffles-- a thought which had not occurred to me when I first listened to it. Overall, this album had a raw bluesy feel that did not quite fit in with most of the California psychedelic revival that the band sprung from.

As far as I can tell this record has not been released in digital form. Thanks to Ariel at The Doledrums has an excellent rip of it.

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